CSR energy may boost state sport

In a boost to state sportspersons, the government on Monday presented their aspirations on a common platform with some of the leading corporates, opening an avenue to invest their funds under the Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

At a conclave organised by the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports (DYES), a handful of firms got a first-hand look at the cream of the sporting talent in the State. Attended by over 40 firms, which included the likes of HCL, Bosch and Coca Cola, the conclave focused on the need for private funding in developing sports in the State.

“We have to realise that we live in an era where sporting glory can no longer be achieved by an individual’s efforts alone. It’s a team effort,” said Anupam Agarwal, Director, DYES, addressing the gathering. “We as the sporting body realised it, and started off by collecting a database.

“When we profiled them, we found out that the annual expenditure of an athlete is between Rs 50 lakh to one crore and above. This is where we want the corporates to step forward and help,” he stated. The DYES has shortlisted 650 athletes for this project and will let the corporates decide the athletes they would like to back.

“We have a list of 650 promising athletes and we’re trying to match them with the corporates. There is a list of deserving people and there is a list of corporates. We want the two to converge,” said Sports Minister Pramodh Madhvaraj.

With the modification in the CSR policy allowing private firms to invest in nationally-recognised and Olympic sports, the DYES hopes the private players will come forward in this initiative.

Speaking at one of the sessions, Indian paralympian powerlifter Farman Basha stressed that the state needs to do more to encourage para sports. “In para sports, our athletes have a really tough time,” he said.

“Just like we have centres for various sports, para sports too need a dedicated centre. Our needs are vey different from the other athletes. Moreover, when the Dasara Games happen it would be great if we can have para sports too,” he stated.
Olympian shooter P N Prakash highlighted the struggles he had to undergo before reaching the top level.

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